‘I thought eating Special K with double cream and jam was HEALTHY’: Man piled on the pounds thanks to ‘balanced diet’ that was actually loaded with calories

March 9, 2014 5:23 pm Comments Off on ‘I thought eating Special K with double cream and jam was HEALTHY’: Man piled on the pounds thanks to ‘balanced diet’ that was actually loaded with calories Views: 874
  • Murray Young, 56, thought he was eating a balanced diet filled with fruit
  • Discovered he was actually eating between 6,000 and 8,000 calories a day
  • 8,000 calories is equivalent to 16 Big Macs, 168 apples or 148 fillet steaks
  • Had piled on the pounds and tipped the scales at 18st 5lb
  • Thought that jam counted as fruit and that Special K with cream was OK

With a diet that included plenty of fruit and cereal, Murray Young, 56, a secure vault officer from Hornchurch in Essex thought he was eating a reasonably healthy diet.

But despite a lifetime of dieting, he continued to pile on the pounds – eventually tipping the scales at an uncomfortable 18st 5lb.

The reason? Although eating an ostensibly ‘balanced’ diet, Murray was actually consuming between 6,000 and 8,000 calories every single day.

Unhealthy: Murray Young, pictured with his wife Helena, was eating between 6,000 and 8,000 calories a day

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Unhealthy: Murray Young, pictured with his wife Helena, was eating between 6,000 and 8,000 calories a day

Now the father-of-one is to appear with his wife Helena on Channel 4 documentary, Secret Eaters, and says he was horrified to discover how much he was really eating.

‘On one particular day, I’d eaten more 8,000 calories,’ he confesses. ‘I was shocked to the core. I felt disgusted to tell you the truth.’

The problem, as Murray is only too willing to admit, was a lack of knowledge about what healthy really means, and as a result, foods such as jam and cream formed a recurring part of his menu.

‘For breakfast I’d have Special K with bananas and sultanas and then pour double cream on top,’ he says. ‘I thought it was healthy because of the Special K in there.

‘I was eating semi-correctly or believing I was. I thought I was eating plenty of fruit and salad. I thought if I ate one piece of fruit a day, then I was eating healthily.’

Not so good: Murray's take on eating Special K cereal involved lashings of double cream and jam

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Not so good: Murray’s take on eating Special K cereal involved lashings of double cream and jam

Favourite: Fried chicken used to be a favourite of Murray's, as did the equally greasy fish and chips

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Favourite: Fried chicken used to be a favourite of Murray’s, as did the equally greasy fish and chips

The reality was somewhat different. Along with healthy fruit and vegetables, Murray was eating a diet crammed with fried chicken, Chinese takeaways and family-sized apple pies.

‘Murray’s calorie intake was huge, mainly as a result of his huge portion sizes at meal times, snacking and picking on fatty foods between meals, his regular takeaways, drinking sugary drinks and his alcohol intake,’ explains nutritionist Lynne Garton.

‘As a result the balance was in favour of lots of fatty and sugary foods and drinks, with very little fruit and vegetables.

‘In fact he only ate 4.5 portions of fruit and vegetables across the whole of surveillance [five days], compared to the recommended amount of at least five portions a day.’

‘For breakfast, I would eat cereal liberally smothered with double cream,’ admits Murray.

‘Sometimes I’d put jam on it, thinking jam is healthy because it’s made from fruit, or would have golden syrup on it.

‘Then, for a mid-morning snack, I would take some bacon and grill it. I thought if I added some tomatoes to it, it would be OK to have an enormous baguette.

‘For lunch, if I was close to home,  I’d go and have chicken and chips, and then, if I had a day off, would carry on and have fish and chips as well.

‘At work, I would take as much food as possible as I could: three sandwiches and a large apple pie, for a family of four, to keep me going through the shift.  If we had downtime, I’d  have McDonalds too.’

Since being confronted with the full extent of his calorie intake, Murray has managed to lose two stone, following what he describes as an ‘idiot proof’ diet, but says more needs to be done to educate people about what healthy eating really consists of.

New diet: Since his appearance on Secret Eaters, Murray (pictured with Anna Richardson) has lost 2st

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New diet: Since his appearance on Secret Eaters, Murray (pictured with Anna Richardson) has lost 2st

Overhaul: Lynne Garton gave Murray what he describes as an 'idiot proof' diet

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Overhaul: Lynne Garton gave Murray what he describes as an ‘idiot proof’ diet

‘Helena and I talk about healthy eating a lot and we always say that people don’t know enough,’ he explains.

‘I think there’s a lot of people like me out there, who started putting on weight in their early 20s and don’t know how to get rid of it and avoid things like diabetes.

‘I want to tell people to put the brakes on, have a search round and find an NHS eating programme and discuss their diet with someone.

‘Even if you aren’t concerned about gaining weight, I’d still say put the brakes on and say stop.’

For Murray, a healthier diet has already paid dividends, in terms of both his weight and self-confidence.

Indeed, so much better does he feel since the start of his healthy new regime, he’s even taken up dancing – something he never felt able to do before.

‘I get a real buzz from the fact I can do it,’ he says. ‘I just feel so much healthier. I’ve never danced before but now I’ve joined a swing-jive class.!

‘I’d never have done that in a million years but walked in bold as brass and said, “what are we doing, let’s get started!”.’

Touchingly, he adds: ‘I love it. Since I went on the diet, it’s as if someone has opened a door and I’ve walked into a different world.’

With a diet that included plenty of fruit and cereal, Murray Young, 56, a secure vault officer from Hornchurch in Essex thought he was eating a reasonably healthy diet.

But despite a lifetime of dieting, he continued to pile on the pounds – eventually tipping the scales at an uncomfortable 18st 5lb.

The reason? Although eating an ostensibly ‘balanced’ diet, Murray was actually consuming between 6,000 and 8,000 calories every single day.

Unhealthy: Murray Young, pictured with his wife Helena, was eating between 6,000 and 8,000 calories a day

+5

Unhealthy: Murray Young, pictured with his wife Helena, was eating between 6,000 and 8,000 calories a day

Now the father-of-one is to appear with his wife Helena on Channel 4 documentary, Secret Eaters, and says he was horrified to discover how much he was really eating.

‘On one particular day, I’d eaten more 8,000 calories,’ he confesses. ‘I was shocked to the core. I felt disgusted to tell you the truth.’

The problem, as Murray is only too willing to admit, was a lack of knowledge about what healthy really means, and as a result, foods such as jam and cream formed a recurring part of his menu.

‘For breakfast I’d have Special K with bananas and sultanas and then pour double cream on top,’ he says. ‘I thought it was healthy because of the Special K in there.

‘I was eating semi-correctly or believing I was. I thought I was eating plenty of fruit and salad. I thought if I ate one piece of fruit a day, then I was eating healthily.’

Not so good: Murray's take on eating Special K cereal involved lashings of double cream and jam

+5

Not so good: Murray’s take on eating Special K cereal involved lashings of double cream and jam

Favourite: Fried chicken used to be a favourite of Murray's, as did the equally greasy fish and chips

+5

Favourite: Fried chicken used to be a favourite of Murray’s, as did the equally greasy fish and chips

The reality was somewhat different. Along with healthy fruit and vegetables, Murray was eating a diet crammed with fried chicken, Chinese takeaways and family-sized apple pies.

‘Murray’s calorie intake was huge, mainly as a result of his huge portion sizes at meal times, snacking and picking on fatty foods between meals, his regular takeaways, drinking sugary drinks and his alcohol intake,’ explains nutritionist Lynne Garton.

‘As a result the balance was in favour of lots of fatty and sugary foods and drinks, with very little fruit and vegetables.

‘In fact he only ate 4.5 portions of fruit and vegetables across the whole of surveillance [five days], compared to the recommended amount of at least five portions a day.’

‘For breakfast, I would eat cereal liberally smothered with double cream,’ admits Murray.

‘Sometimes I’d put jam on it, thinking jam is healthy because it’s made from fruit, or would have golden syrup on it.

‘Then, for a mid-morning snack, I would take some bacon and grill it. I thought if I added some tomatoes to it, it would be OK to have an enormous baguette.

‘For lunch, if I was close to home,  I’d go and have chicken and chips, and then, if I had a day off, would carry on and have fish and chips as well.

‘At work, I would take as much food as possible as I could: three sandwiches and a large apple pie, for a family of four, to keep me going through the shift.  If we had downtime, I’d  have McDonalds too.’

Since being confronted with the full extent of his calorie intake, Murray has managed to lose two stone, following what he describes as an ‘idiot proof’ diet, but says more needs to be done to educate people about what healthy eating really consists of.

New diet: Since his appearance on Secret Eaters, Murray (pictured with Anna Richardson) has lost 2st

+5

New diet: Since his appearance on Secret Eaters, Murray (pictured with Anna Richardson) has lost 2st

Overhaul: Lynne Garton gave Murray what he describes as an 'idiot proof' diet

+5

Overhaul: Lynne Garton gave Murray what he describes as an ‘idiot proof’ diet

‘Helena and I talk about healthy eating a lot and we always say that people don’t know enough,’ he explains.

‘I think there’s a lot of people like me out there, who started putting on weight in their early 20s and don’t know how to get rid of it and avoid things like diabetes.

‘I want to tell people to put the brakes on, have a search round and find an NHS eating programme and discuss their diet with someone.

‘Even if you aren’t concerned about gaining weight, I’d still say put the brakes on and say stop.’

For Murray, a healthier diet has already paid dividends, in terms of both his weight and self-confidence.

Indeed, so much better does he feel since the start of his healthy new regime, he’s even taken up dancing – something he never felt able to do before.

‘I get a real buzz from the fact I can do it,’ he says. ‘I just feel so much healthier. I’ve never danced before but now I’ve joined a swing-jive class.!

‘I’d never have done that in a million years but walked in bold as brass and said, “what are we doing, let’s get started!”.’

Touchingly, he adds: ‘I love it. Since I went on the diet, it’s as if someone has opened a door and I’ve walked into a different world.’

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